Rhône, France, WINE

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The Rhône Valley is really comprised of two very different regions, in terms of weather, topography, and viticulture. The variable climate and gentle rolling hillsides in Southern Rhône make it one of the world's great regions for the art of blending, with 13 distinct varietals (red and white) permissible in the vineyards and wines. Grenache is the workhorse grape of the region, while Syrah, Mourvédre, Cinsault, and Carignan round out most blend compositions in one proportion or another.

The earthy, soulful, sometimes decadent wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are the unrivaled champions of the Southern Rhône, but numerous neighboring villages are exerting themselves based on their individuality and terroir. The communes of Gigondas, Lirac, and Vacqueyras often produce bold, meaty, spicy wines, enough to warrant their own respective AOC designations. Other villages currently ensconced within the overall Côtes-du-Rhône Villages AOC include Vinsobres, Séguret, Sablet, and Cairanne, and we should not be surprised to see one or more of these villages awarded AOC status in the coming years, such is the quality and individuality of the wines being produced here.

The Northern Rhône is quite a different story, with steep vineyards and hot micro-climates making it ideal for mono-varietal wines. Syrah is the red grape of both legal and viticultural preference, and it achieves varying expressions depending on where the vines are located. The majority of vine-growing occurs on the west bank of the Rhône river. St-Joseph is the largest AOC in the region, and the resulting quality is, of course, very mixed depending largely on the standards of the specific producer. Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage are the king and queen of Syrah, the former producing dark, brooding, masculine wines of depth and structure, the latter being famous for its complex, ethereal aromatics and refined texture and longevity. Cornas is the more rustic cousin to Rôtie and Hermitage, but quality is on the rise, year after year. The Northern Rhône's lone white grape is Viognier, and Condrieu is its ancestral home and considered the apex of its expression worldwide. Viognier also serves as a very small percentage of blends with Syrah, typically in the Crozes-Hermitage AOC. France's most ancient winemaking region has a lot going for it, and the future looks as bright as the past.

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94-96 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Deep ruby. Deeply perfumed aromas of ripe red and dark berries, candied flowers and garrigue slowly pick up a spicy element as the wine stretches out. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering alluringly sweet black raspberry, spicecake and lavender pastille… ...
V 94-96
JD 95
WS 95
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Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Val de Dieu 2016  (#332901)

Rhone Blends - Red from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

94-96 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Deep ruby. Deeply perfumed aromas of ripe red and dark berries, candied flowers and garrigue slowly pick up a spicy element as the wine stretches out. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering alluringly sweet…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
V 94-96
JD 95
WS 95
PRE-ARRIVAL
$59.95
$90.00
Save $30.05 (33%)90.00
Save $30.05 (33%)
99 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...screaming 'Grenache!' at the top of its lungs with its sweet bouquet of black raspberries, candied violets, baking spices, and crushed rock-like minerality, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness and density, a weightless texture, no hard edges, and awesome… ...
JD 99
WS 97
V 95-97
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Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Amiral G 2016  (#332898)

Grenache/Garnacha from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

99 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...screaming 'Grenache!' at the top of its lungs with its sweet bouquet of black raspberries, candied violets, baking spices, and crushed rock-like minerality, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness and density,…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JD 99
WS 97
V 95-97
PRE-ARRIVAL
$99.95
$120.00
Save $20.05 (17%)120.00
Save $20.05 (17%)
92-94 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark ruby. Potent mineral- and smoke-accented cherry, boysenberry and garrigue scents pick up a sexy incense nuance as the wine opens up. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering intense red and blue fruit, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors… ...
V 92-94
WA 91-93
JD 91-93
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Domaine du Cayron Gigondas 2015  (#332506)

Rhone Blends - Red from Gigondas, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

92-94 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark ruby. Potent mineral- and smoke-accented cherry, boysenberry and garrigue scents pick up a sexy incense nuance as the wine opens up. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering intense red and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
V 92-94
WA 91-93
JD 91-93
$29.95
$46.00
Save $16.05 (35%)46.00
Save $16.05 (35%)
99 points Jeb Dunnuck: Screaming 'Granite!' at the top of its lungs... Inky colored and packed with notions of blackberries, cassis, crushed rocks, graphite and violets, it’s full-bodied, perfectly balanced, elegant and seamless. With an iron fist in a velvet glove-like character, this heavenly 2015… ...
JD 99
WA 96
WS 96
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Chapoutier Saint-Joseph Le Clos 2015  (#331680)

Syrah/Shiraz from St.-Joseph, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

99 points Jeb Dunnuck: Screaming 'Granite!' at the top of its lungs... Inky colored and packed with notions of blackberries, cassis, crushed rocks, graphite and violets, it’s full-bodied, perfectly balanced, elegant and seamless. With an iron fist in…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JD 99
WA 96
WS 96
$159.95
$200.00
Save $40.05 (20%)200.00
Save $40.05 (20%)
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...a blockbuster made from a single parcel of old Roussanne vines. It was raised all in new oak, yet aside from a slight smokiness, you wouldn’t know it. Possessing a unique bouquet of buttered peach, pineapple, wood smoke and hints of meatiness, it deep, rich and unctuous on… ...
JD 95
DE 94
WS 93
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Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Les Vieilles Roussanne 2016  (#332899)

Roussanne from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...a blockbuster made from a single parcel of old Roussanne vines. It was raised all in new oak, yet aside from a slight smokiness, you wouldn’t know it. Possessing a unique bouquet of buttered peach, pineapple, wood smoke and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 95
DE 94
WS 93
$64.95
$85.00
Save $20.05 (24%)85.00
Save $20.05 (24%)
100 points Jeb Dunnuck: A perfect wine, the 2015 Ermitage Le Méal offers straight-up otherworldly notes of black raspberries, toasted spices, licorice, scorched earth and flowers. With a huge, unctuous profile on the palate, a stacked mid-palate, sweet, sweet tannin and awesome purity, it's as good… ...
JD 100
WA 99
WS 98
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Chapoutier Ermitage Rouge Le Meal 2015  (#331674)

Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: A perfect wine, the 2015 Ermitage Le Méal offers straight-up otherworldly notes of black raspberries, toasted spices, licorice, scorched earth and flowers. With a huge, unctuous profile on the palate, a stacked mid-palate,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JD 100
WA 99
WS 98
$299.95
$380.00
Save $80.05 (21%)380.00
Save $80.05 (21%)
96 points Jeb Dunnuck: Similarly colored, the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre) offers a killer bouquet of blackcurrants, sappy garrigue, exotic spices, and leafy herbs. It's full-bodied, ultra-pure, seamless and silky, with no hard edges and beautiful balance. Checking… ...
JD 96
WA 93
V 91-93
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Saint-Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2016  (#334055)

Rhone Blends - Red from Gigondas, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: Similarly colored, the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre) offers a killer bouquet of blackcurrants, sappy garrigue, exotic spices, and leafy herbs. It's full-bodied, ultra-pure, seamless and silky,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 96
WA 93
V 91-93
100 points Jeb Dunnuck: There's not much of the 2016 Hermitage Blanc to go around due to hail in the springtime, yet the resulting wine is another magical effort from this domaine. Bottled in August, it opens up with a fabulous blast of quince, white flowers, buttered citrus, licorice, and exotic… ...
JD 100
V 97-99
WA 98
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Chave/Jean-Louis Hermitage Blanc 2016  (#334628)

Rhone Blends - White from Hermitage, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: There's not much of the 2016 Hermitage Blanc to go around due to hail in the springtime, yet the resulting wine is another magical effort from this domaine. Bottled in August, it opens up with a fabulous blast of quince, white…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JD 100
V 97-99
WA 98
$299.95
$338.00
Save $38.05 (11%)338.00
Save $38.05 (11%)
96 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): The 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin is all Grenache, 40% whole cluster, aged in two-thirds foudre and one-third demi-muids and drawn exclusively from sandy sites. It showcases incredibly lush, silky fruit. Raspberries and cherries of incredible purity… ...
WA 96
WS 95
JD 95
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Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin 2015  (#330296)

Grenache/Garnacha from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

96 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): The 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin is all Grenache, 40% whole cluster, aged in two-thirds foudre and one-third demi-muids and drawn exclusively from sandy sites. It showcases incredibly lush, silky…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
WA 96
WS 95
JD 95
$59.95
$70.00
Save $10.05 (14%)70.00
Save $10.05 (14%)
97 points Decanter: There is no better way to develop an understanding of the different expressions of the single vineyard sites of Côte-Rôtie than by tasting from barrel in Jean-Paul Jamet's underground bunker - especially in a vintage like 2016. 'You smell the terroir first in 2016; in 2015, you… ...
DE 97
V 95-97
JD 94-96
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Jamet Cote-Rotie 2016  (#334346)

Syrah/Shiraz from Côte-Rôtie, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

97 points Decanter: There is no better way to develop an understanding of the different expressions of the single vineyard sites of Côte-Rôtie than by tasting from barrel in Jean-Paul Jamet's underground bunker - especially in a vintage like 2016. …

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
DE 97
V 95-97
JD 94-96
PRE-ARRIVAL
95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...it has a vibrant, mineral-laced personality that I’m sure is loved by Laurent. As classic as it gets, with a rocking bouquet of black, black fruits, garrigue, crushed rocks, and pepper, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, remarkable concentration, yet also the… ...
JD 95-97
JS 95-96
V 94-96
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Charvin Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016  (#333420)

Rhone Blends - Red from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...it has a vibrant, mineral-laced personality that I’m sure is loved by Laurent. As classic as it gets, with a rocking bouquet of black, black fruits, garrigue, crushed rocks, and pepper, it hits the palate with full-bodied…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available
JD 95-97
JS 95-96
V 94-96
96-99 points Jeb Dunnuck: I was able to taste the 2016 Hermitage from three separate tanks which are blended prior to bottling. All three samples showed brilliant purity of fruit, full body, a forward, seamless, elegant texture, and classic building minerality. This is haute couture at its finest… ...
JD 96-99
JS 97-98
WA 96-98
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Chave/Jean-Louis Hermitage Rouge 2016  (#334626)

Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

96-99 points Jeb Dunnuck: I was able to taste the 2016 Hermitage from three separate tanks which are blended prior to bottling. All three samples showed brilliant purity of fruit, full body, a forward, seamless, elegant texture, and classic building…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 96-99
JS 97-98
WA 96-98
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